Jamesport, Missouri: Amish Country



Jamesport MissouriA day eating Horse-churned Ice Cream, sitting on hand crafted furniture, riding buggies, enjoying homemade bread and noodles, feeding Jersey Calves with a bottle and taking a break from cell phones, credit cards, internet, and movies. A trip to Jamesport, Missouri’s largest Amish community, is a visit to one of America’s most interesting subcultures. The Amish life is full of tradition, the people are welcoming and friendly, and the trip feels like visiting a simpler time. 

Jamesport is the largest Amish community in Missouri. This small town in Northwest Missouri is a welcome respite from fast-paced city life. 
    The Old Order Amish, a Protestant Christian sect, are decedents of the Mennonite Anabaptist, a group that formed during the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland. Founded by Jacob Amman in the late 1600's, he felt that the Mennonites were too casual in their religious observance. 
Jamesport Day Trip     They work hard. The men farm or operate their businesses (harness making, horse shoeing, furniture making, or dairies) from sunrise to sunset with horses plowing the fields. Amish women spend their days caring for children, cooking, gardening, and sewing. They travel in horse-drawn buggies. The Amish do not use electricity (although they do use gasoline, propane, kerosene, and indoor plumbing). You won’t find telephones, computers, televisions, or cameras. Modest, simple, conservative dress is worn. They operate businesses just large enough to provide for their families and abstain from luxury. When someone in the community is sick, everyone pitches in to help. They believe in family and community, hard work, and a Biblical lifestyle.

When you enter an Amish shop or farm, you will be greeted warmly, but there are a few things every visitor needs to know.

 

Tips for a Day Trip to Jamesport:

 

  • Amish Shops are closed on Thursday and Sunday.
  • You may bring your camera and take photos of horses, buggies, buildings, your family, and the countryside, but please do not take photos of the Amish people. Their religion does not permit photos of people as that would be a ‘graven image’ or bring vanity.
  • There is no Cell Phone signal in Jamesport.
  • In Jamesport, you will find businesses operated by Amish, Brethren, and “English” people. The Amish refer to non-Amish people as “English” and these shops are typically antique and gift shops that operate with electricity, credit cards, and all of the modern amenities you are accustomed to. They also sell modern products.
  • Most of the shops owned by Amish or Brethren families do not accept Credit or Debit Cards. They operate by cash and check only. The few that do accept Debit Cards charge fees for this service.
  • Contrary to popular myth, the Amish do have indoor plumbing.
  • Downtown Jamesport (the intersections of Broadway and Auberry Grove) consists of “English” shops selling antiques, home décor, Amish goods, Amish cookbooks, furniture, and candles “hand- poured daily” at Farm House Collection. For authentic Amish businesses, you’ll need to go to the outskirts of town. Several of the shops and the City Hall provide maps.

Day Trip Diary:

Amish & Brethren Businesses:

 

H & M Country Store, Countryside Bakery, and Fabric Barn:


 

H & M Country Store    Details: 21910 St. Hwy 190, 660.684.6848. You will find the Countryside Bakery, Fabric Barn, and H & M Country Store all sharing the same parking lot. 
    Why I recommend it: One step into the Countryside Bakery and you’ll be in heaven. They sell eight varieties of bread, dinner rolls, homemade noodles, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and pies. The Fabric Barn sells bolts of material and sewing supplies. At H & M, you’ll see an Amish grocery with bulk spices, mixes, homemade noodles, jams, butters, farm fresh eggs, pickled vegetables, dried fruit, and snacks.
We purchased bread and cookies at the bakery, pumpkin butter, noodles and creamy chicken noodle soup at the grocery (and other goodies later in the trip). This made a wonderful “comfort food” dinner at home after a nice day in the country! The bread was heavenly, the soup was delicious and hearty, and the noodles were a great treat when mom doesn’t have the energy to make her own from scratch!

Homestead Creamery:


Calf FeedingDetails: 2059 Liv 506, 660.684.6970. 
    Why I recommend it: The Flory’s, a Brethren family, operate this local dairy and creamery. They raise Jersey cows and make natural rinded Farmstead cheese on site. On Tuesdays, you can watch cheese making. On Saturday, we saw cheese packaging. They provide free samples of the cheeses in their shop and we took a package home to eat with dinner. 
    The Flory girls gave my children a tour of the farm and helped teach them to bottle feed Jersey calves. I specify that the family is Brethren, not Amish, because they do use a telephone, electricity, and modern tractors. However, their dress is similar to the Amish and they do not use computers, watch television, or listen to radio.

Oakridge Furniture, LLC, and Sherwood Quilts, Crafts and Christian Books:

 
Horse Churned Ice Cream    Details: 799 SW 80th St, 660.684.6802. 
    Why I recommend it: The highlight of this stop was the Horse Churned Ice Cream (available seasonally on Saturdays)! My daughter was absolutely intrigued to see a horse making ice cream! At Oakridge, they sell handcrafted furniture, wooden toys, and clocks. The quilt shop features quilts, lace, jams, and Amish Dolls. They also sell Christian books, Amish Cookbooks, and candles.

Jamesport Harness & Supplies:

    Details: 21776 St. Hwy 190, 660.684.6775. 
    Why I recommend it: Even if you’re not in the market for equine supplies (and we weren't) it is interesting to walk into a harness shop and watch the shopkeeper making harnesses, repairing saddles, and selling buggies.

Graber’s Greenhouse & Produce:

    Details: 30707 State Hwy 6, 660.684.6518. 
    Why I recommend it: This is an outdoor market and nursery. You can purchase fresh produce and plants.

J.A.M. Wood Products, LLC: 

    Details: 761 SW 68th Ave. 660.684.6315. 
    Why I recommend it: Handcrafted rockers, children’s playground equipment (including Pirate Ship designs), swings and furniture is made and sold at this shop.

Other Jamesport Attractions:

Hook & Eye Tours: Rosemary Simmons gives Amish House and Farm Tours. Call 660.684.6179 for information.

Family-Friendly Dining in Jamesport:

 
Gingerich Dutch Pantry    We took our latest trip to Jamesport during a festival. The restaurants all had lines stretching for blocks, so we opted for a hot dog and purchased food at the local shops to take home for dinner. However, Jamesport does feature several restaurants that were highly recommended by shop owners:

 

  • Gingerich Dutch Pantry: at intersection of Auberry Grove and Broadway, 660.684.6212. Homemade soups, noodles, sandwiches and baked goods.
  • Country Cupboard: Old Hwy 6, 660.684.6597. Home cookin’ style menu. 
  • Jamesport Tavern & Grill: 660.684.9906. Traditional grill menu. The unique feature here? The restaurant is also a retailer of shotguns, black powder supplies, antique guns and restoration.
  • Jamesport Café: 209 S. Locust, 660.684.6700. Family dining, famous for their hand-breaded jumbo pork tenderloins.
  • Round Up Café: 201 E. Main St., 660.684.6070. Family dining.

Jamesport’s Annual Autumn Events:

4th Saturday of September: Step Back in Time Festival. Craft demonstrations, live entertainment, booths and flea market.
2nd Saturday in October: Jamesport Quilt Auction
1st Saturday in November: Holiday Open House
4th Weekend in November: Step Back in Time Christmas Festival

 

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